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Crews work to fix waste water damage in Blackfoot homes

By Stephanie Hale-Lopez
Published On: Feb 07 2013 08:37:51 PM CST

Three days after a sewage line collapsed in Blackfoot and flooded area homes with waste water, crews are still working to repair the broken line.

BLACKFOOT, Idaho -

Three days after a sewage line collapsed in Blackfoot and flooded area homes with waste water, crews are still working to repair the broken line.

Crews said things are moving along steadily; they were able to excavate the broken pipe Thursday.

As for the homes affected by the flooding, restoration crews spent all day saving what they could.

Rooms that once held priceless memories are now being torn apart.

"Solid oak furniture from way back in the old days," said JimĀ  Thompson, "...you can't buy stuff like that now."

Homeowner Thompson says everything that touched the waste water is considered a bio-hazard and has to be thrown out.

"We have a list of every item that was here, including small things like Christmas decorations, tools, everything," said Thompson.

And as for the family photo albums and personal documents, the Thompsons are hoping a Utah man who specializes in restoration can save them.

"If we don't get back at least the original, we'll get back electronic copies," said Thompson.

"Hopefully, we can get those people and their houses back to how they were within a reasonable amount of time," said Mike Virtue, Blackfoot Mayor.

Virtue said crews finished draining the 13-foot manhole today, which gave them a better look at the pipe break.

"We're trying to determine now whether we want to repair that line or if we want to replace it to the next manhole," said Virtue. "So we'll have that discussion soon."

Virtue said if crews decide to replace that line, it would take about two days.

As for the affected homes, restoration could take between 4-6 weeks.

Because the sewer system is a Blackfoot city utility, the city is responsible for compensating homeowners for all damages.

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